Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Narrators, Tragedy, The Wiggles, and Weight Issues

1. Continued to read Summerland by Malcolm Knox.

I'm liking it.

It definitely has a Great Gatsby feel to it.  Although my memories of The Great Gatsby are really vague.  It's been a long time since I read that. 

2. Received a helpful message from a Tallygarunga writer. They told me where to find the story about what happened to Arti.

The story thread is called If I Should Die Before I Wake.   It's very scary and depressing. And I'll be honest, I kind of skimmed through it.  It's not something I wanted to read in detail. It involves horrific child abuse and rape.  

That's probably the worst of it.  

But two other things made me even more sad.

A) Arti being ripped away from her boyfriend's house and boyfriend's family, the place where she felt relatively safe.

Somehow that's worse to me than being taken from a dark alley when you're walking alone.  

I imagine there'd be a feeling of immense helplessness from all sides. Reade couldn't save her.  Neither could his parents.  It's horrible for them. And it's horrible for her.
B) Arti's father destroying her violin and art work.  I think anyone who creates things would understand how awful that is.

3. Wondered what the narrative style of The Great Gatsby and Summerland is called.

Is there a name for it?

It's where the main character isn't the narrator. A friend tells the story.

4. Consulted Lord Wiki.

As far as I can see, he doesn't have a name for this kind of story.

Oh well.

Maybe I'll figure it out later.

Or maybe there isn't a name for it. 

5. Went to bed and dreamed about one of my Australian friends. I dream about her a lot.

In one of the dreams, Tracey and I talk about dieting.  I tell her about my diet and my frustrations about the fact that it's not working.

In another dream, I'm in the middle of writing Tracey a long email about my anger towards someone.  I go on and on and on.  I talk about things from the past, and then I start to write about the last thing the person did to piss me off.    

I realize I'm majorly venting, and I've made a personal rule against doing that.  A part of me says I should quit writing the email.  Another part of me says this is Tracey. I can talk to her. Plus, I already did so much writing. I'm not sure that I want it to go to waste.

Now that I think of it, that dream was kind of awesome. I gave in to my venting desires without breaking my rules.  Dreams don't count.  It's like when you're on a strict diet; then at night you have a huge feast.   As far as I know, the calories you eat in your dreams don't go to your real life waist.  

Speaking of dieting.  I'm sort of on one.  I haven't done that since having the eating disorder I supposedly never had.

I'm actually on a similar diet to the one that started the whole thing.  But I'm being reasonable.  My rule is I'll go on it seven days per month.  The other days I'll try to eat like a normal person.  

Anyway, it's very frustrating.  I expected to drop pounds like I did the first time. It's not happening.    I'm eating less than 1200 calories which is probably about half of what I eat on a normal day.

I'm a pig on normal days.

The old me would have dropped pound after pound by eating this way.  The new me is not. And no, I'm not including the days I'm not on the diet.  The morning after two of the dieting days, I weighed myself and had actually gained weight.  

Some people want to believe it's a simple math problem. Consume less calories than you burn and you'll lose weight.

It's really NOT that simple.  

I'm not going to give up.  But a part of me is thinking the only way to lose weight is to cut off one of my legs.  Although then it might be hard for me to stand on a scale.

I'd probably get an artificial leg.

But the fake leg might be end up weighing more than a real leg.  

6. Remembered that I DID go on a post-eating disorder diet before.  It was in 2008 when I was depressed.  I copied our house guest who was doing this diet where you fast every other day.  I'm not sure how long I stuck to it.    

I did drop a few pounds. But I wouldn't do that diet again.   I don't like fasting.

7. Got awesome email from my music people.  There's a Wiggles tribute album coming out.  All these famous Aussie singers are going to be singing Wiggles songs!

I love the Wiggles! 

8. Went to the Rewiggled Facebook Page.

They have a video of a group called Architecture in Helsinki singing "Wiggly Party".

It's very cute.     

9. Went to the music sample part of their Facebook Page.  

"Wake Up Jeff" is really awesome. They give it a salsa type of twist.

At least I think it's salsa. I might have the genre wrong.

10. Started to watch Oh Mercy sing "Toot Toot Chugga Chugga Big Red Car".

At first I didn't recognize it.

But now I do.

I'm on a Wiggles high here.

11. Thought about how Jack and I were talking about guilty pleasures yesterday.  That was the theme of last night's Sing Off.  

I think one of my guilty pleasures is kid's music.  I love it.  I love the Wiggles.  I love Disney music.   I love music from Miss Spiders Sunny Patch Kids.  I love Sesame Street and Muppet music.   I love the two songs from The Koala Brothers

Sometimes I even like corny camp songs.

12. Watched The Wiggles sing Toot Toot Chugga Big Red Car.

It's so fun.

13. Read about history in my new Australia travel guide.  It was about the white explorers who found Australia before James Cook.

I was wondering why Cook so often gets the credit.  Even though I know he wasn't the first, I think of him as being the white discoverer of Australia.  Why?

I came up with a sort of answer.

I think it's because Cook and his crew were the first to land in Sydney.  And Sydney was the first colony.  It could be seen as the birthplace of white Australia.   

14. Enjoyed the cleverness of Fruitcake's post.   She starts off talking about spilling her coffee at Starbucks and ends with worries about an oil spill on Phillip Island.   I thought she was being like me—jumping from topic to topic.  I had to read it twice to catch the theme of the post.

15. Loved Miss Sparkles poignant post about hurting her mother.  

How did she hurt her mother?

She grew up and didn't fit into her mother's mold.  She also didn't make her mother the center of her world.

That happens...probably to a lot of families.

Miss Sparkles says, She wanted little kids she could play with and teach. She was never prepared for teenagers or adults. She never knew how to let go.

I've worried about me being that way with Jack.  I like young kids. I'm weary of teenagers sometimes.

But then I remind myself that I'm weary only of a specific type of teenager. These are the ones who party all the time, get drunk, obsess with fashion, have no intellectual interests, etc.

I'm doubting most teenagers are like that.  And Jack has given me no indication that he'll turn out that way.  

Even teens who seem to be like that, are probably not completely like that...if you dig beneath the surface.  

16. Hoped that I won't make it hard for Jack to grow up.

I hope Tim and I don't cling to being the center of his world.

I'd be a fool to deny the changes won't make me somewhat sad.

But in many cases, it's not how you feel that matters. It's how you react to those feelings.  

17. Went to Tallygarunga.

Today I'm going to read Strangers When We Meet.  It's about Victor Hartwell and Sarah Kent. They have the same father, but I have been wondering if they know that.

Maybe today I'll find out.

18. Started to read.

It's Friday September 16.

Sarah is walking on the school grounds.

She then stops to practice her Saxophone.

Bullies pick on Sarah, and she fights back by commenting on the obesity of one of the guys.

Yesterday I was unhappy about my dieting adventures and came into the room where a comedian was doing a whole bit about fatness. 

People make jokes about everything, so there's no reason why weight should be completely off limits. But there're times that I feel it goes too far, and it's just plain nastiness.  

I guess it's the same with any topic.  There're funny jokes about Jews, and then there're really mean jokes about Jews.

There was controversy about JK Rowling and weight. She wrote eloquently about eating disorders, but then people pointed out that she had very negative characterizations of obese people.  Her defense was that she also had positive characters who are fat, and she also has bad characters who are thin.

I think that's fair.

Maybe it's about the attitude in general.

I think it's fine to poke fun at obesity if it's the spirit of recognizing that it is something that can happen to almost any of us.  It's not so funny to me if the joke is made with an air of superiority.  It's also not funny if the idea behind the joke is that fat people have less value than those who are thinner.

Is it fair for Sarah to say to her bully, Why don't you come and take it from me, you fat hunk of lard?!

In her defense, she's being bullied and feeling defensive.  Still.  She doesn't need to bring the guy's weight into the equation.  His excess of body fat doesn't make him a bully.

19. Saw that Sarah labeled another one of the bullies as Big Nose.  So I guess that's her way of looking at things.  She gives people simplistic labels.

I guess I do that too sometimes...not exactly like that. But I'll give things labels if I don't know their name.

We do that with The Sing Off .   I'm finally getting to know the names of the groups.  But prior to that I would give simplistic descriptions.   The one with the black girl. Although then I eventually knew her name so it became, the one with Ruby.    There was the, rap group and the old men group.  We had the one with the Australian and the family one.

20. Started to read Victor's post.  He sees Sarah being bullied.  He recognizes her, but doesn't know her name.

So I guess at this point he doesn't know they're half-siblings.

21. Noticed that although Victor is angry at the bullies, and he helps Sarah; he doesn't make comments about the body size of any of the bullies.  He doesn't do it aloud, and he doesn't think them in his head.  Well....at least not yet.

22. Saw that Sarah has a feeling of weirdness when she looks at Victor.   

Then, realizing she was being extremely rude, Sarah tilted her head back to look up at the tall Bourke boy who had saved her and was struck with an odd sense of familiarity and déjà vu. Something about his face was familiar to her, but she couldn't quite put her finger on it...

I guess a part of her is recognizing that he's her brother.  Is this like a spiritual psychic thing? Or is she just noticing familiar facial features?

23. Continued to read.  When Sarah introduces herself, Victor starts to wonder about her last name.  He knows is father is William Kent.  Now this girl is a Kent as well.   Could they be siblings?

Yes.  And they are.

We know that.

But they don't know that yet.  

24. Finished reading.  I think Victor now knows that Sarah is his sister.   She reveals that her dad was head Auror.  I'm guessing Victor knew that about William.   I'm sure he's put two and two together.

What I don't know is whether he tells Sarah at this point.  Does he say, Guess what. I'm your brother!?

Probably not.

There was a thread the other day where Sarah entered a classroom and was excited to see Victor.   I thought maybe she knew he was her brother, but I'm guessing she was just excited to see him because she likes him.   He helped her with the bully situation.   That probably won her over.  

25. Saw that my Australian of the day is William Aplin.  

He was born in England in 1840.

He migrated to Brisbane when he was in his early 20's.

Eventually he and his wife moved to Townsville.

Townsville was new in those days.  Aplin became one of the founders it's council.

26. Learned that Aplin did merchant stuff, government stuff, pastoralist stuff, and parenting stuff.

27.  Started to look at another John Lampard Flickr set.   This one is called "Norah Head Lighthouse and Coastline".  

Lampard says Norah Head is somewhere near New South Wales.

28. Found Norah Head on Google Maps.  It's about 1 hour and 40 minutes north of Sydney.  And it's about an hour south of Newcastle.

39. Liked the scenery in this photo of Norah Head.  

I like this picture too.  

30. Thought of drinking cats when I saw the rocks near the water.

To me it looks like two cats side by side drinking milk.  

31. Thought this looked like another planet...not earth.   

The clouds make it look like Earth though.  Maybe.

Do other planets have a blue sky with clouds?

32. Consulted Lord Wiki.  He says other planets do have clouds.

I'm not sure if they look like our clouds.  If I dedicated a few hours to this, Lord Wiki would probably tell me whether they do or not. But I'm not THAT interested.

I'm only mildly interested. 

33.  Thought this rock looked a bit like a sandwich. 

34. Saw from an article that the queen is in Canberra.

I hope she has a fun time there. 

I'm impressed that someone her age can deal with the long flight.

I guess she probably goes on a private plane.  That probably makes things somewhat easier.   For me personally, it would still be hard.  

There's a picture of the queen with the article.  I think she's very beautiful.

I hope I'm pretty when I'm an old lady.   But if I'm alive and relatively healthy at that age, I'll try to be grateful and not worry whether or not I'm attractive.  

35. Looked at the Australia Monopoly board.

The next street for me is....

Well, it's not a street.

It's a piece of land called Petrie Bight.

It was a settlement farm at one time.  Lord Wiki says this means it provided food for the colony.   So I guess that means it wasn't a private farm.

36. Found this Brisbane blog.

The blogger has a photo of the Petrie Bight retaining wall.  

Then this other blogger has a photo of Petrie Bight in the 1893 flood.  

37. Went to Corey Stedman's YouTube Channel

39. Here's his cover of Men at Work's "Land Down Under".

I think Corey Stedman does a pretty good job with it.

It's interesting. At times his accent sounds a bit Asian.

As far as I can tell, he's not Asian. 

39. Started to listen to Stedman's cover of the Foo Fighter's "February Stars".

The only Foo Fighters song I know of is "Iris".

I guess it's good to expand my horizons a bit.

40. Wondered if there's any singing in this song.

So far it's all guitar.

He has all this guitar instruction in the information section. Maybe the song usually has words, but he didn't want them to get in the way of the lesson.

41. Listened to Foo Fighters sing "February Stars".

It does have words.

42. Watched The Koala Brothers theme song in Hebrew.

That's pretty fun.

43.  Listened to my favorite Wiggles song.

44. We watched the second half of this week's Sing Off.

The Australian is back.  I think his name is Ben Murphy?  He talked a bit. He doesn't sound Australian to me....more Irish.   I'm thinking his family may have migrated from there.   And then I guess Ben came to America to go to uni.

Sadly, his father died of Leukemia.   My heart goes out to their family.

The Sing Off show is milking the sadness as much as they can.  That's what reality TV shows do.

It's a bit much.

But I have to admit, I had some tears about the whole thing.